Linus Pauling: And it wasn’t until 1949 that the job was done. Now this may seem surprising, that
it takes so long, well it’s like a lot of things, you don’t know whether it’s going
to work out or not, and you don’t work, perhaps, don’t work as hard on it as you might,
and Harvey was interested in taking a lot of courses, because there were a lot of
things he hadn’t learned as a medical student that he could learn now.
And we didn’t have an electrophoresis apparatus, and I got one of the graduate students
[Stanley Swingle] working with me, to, I think he’d become a post-doctoral fellow,
to start building an electrophoresis apparatus. His wife was our stock room keeper,
and she, somebody asked for some ethyl-chloro-carbonate. And she went to the main,
to the vault, to get this, and opened the bottle and it squirted out over her. It’s
like phosgene, in its action on the lungs, and she died in a few hours; and this upset
her husband greatly and it was a longer period before we had an electrophoresis apparatus.
The one we had designed wouldn’t work with colored substances, and so, there was the
problem of making, adapting, an adapter got built so that it worked with hemoglobin.
And in the meantime, Harvey Itano was determining the properties of, various properties,
of hemoglobin from these two sources, and they came out the same. He didn’t, he'd
measured oxygen equilibrium curves and other oxygen, and some other properties, and
kept getting the same results. But finally, by this time, John Singer, and Ibert C.
Wells, were cooperating with him, and finally the electrophoresis experiments were
carried out, and it was evident that sickle cell anemia had about two electron difference
in electric charge than normal hemoglobin.